The usual rule of thumb is if you have a little over the price of a hardware wallet invested in cryptocurrency, you should really think about investing in one. Even more so if you have substantial holdings as keeping them on centralised exchanges poses a number of risks.
The hardware wallet market has grown substantially in the past couple of years as security is a big issue in the cryptocurrency space. When once there was only a couple of major players (Ledger or Trezor), now there are several offerings in the market and I’ve saved you some legwork by doing a quick overview of several of the cryptocurrency hardware wallets that are currently on the market.
Ledger is one of the more well-known players and has a couple of different offerings: Ledger Nano S which has the form factor of a USB stick and Ledger Blue which has a touchscreen and more space for crypto apps. Both have support for over 40 different currencies, and you can check out their roadmap and vote for the next cryptos you want the team to add. You install the Ledger Live app on to your desktop and you are ready to go. It even supports EOS and IOTA. One downside however is the limited memory, meaning you have to juggle between the various crypto apps on the Nano S, installing/uninstalling as needed.
Trezor has been around for a similar amount of time that Ledger has and supports lots of the same currencies Ledger does and are slowly introducing more. They have 2 models: Trezor 1 and Trezor Model T, the latter has done away with physical buttons and they have a web wallet which you can interact with that is currently in beta.
Secalot has a lot of other features besides just being a cryptocurrency wallet. It can be used as an OpenPGP smartcard, U2F authenticator and a one-time password generator, so probably something institutions may consider. Their wallet only supports Bitcoin and Ethereum at present but they do have a mobile app which allows you to authenticate transactions which is nicer than the smaller screens on some of the others we have seen.
CoolWallet S is a device that is in the form factor of a credit card so it can be easily transported in your wallet. It supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, Bitcoin Cash at present. The card connects to the mobile phone app via Bluetooth and you can confirm transactions on the e-paper display built into the card, however the card does need to be charged from time-to-time, usually lasting around 2-3 weeks.
BitBox is a really small and lightweight hardware wallet which like many of the others is FIDO compliant. It currently supports Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. It uses a micro SD card for its storage allowing you to swap between different wallets on the fly and securely store the SD card when not in use. There is also support for hidden wallets to add that extra layer of security.
KeepKey is ShapeShift company that develops a clean looking hardware wallet. Leveraging ShapeShift it supports transacting across more than 50 different currencies over 500 different currency pairings so it is perfect if you have a diverse holding.
Xeeda has a product in the pipeline which looks promising and they are currently accepting pre-orders. CoinKite has produced a tradable USB type wallet alongside their traditional hardware wallet. If you prefer to stick with paper wallets or are just looking for that extra level of security for the recovery phrase to your hardware wallet, Steely and Cryptotag offer some indestructible solutions.
Keeping your crypto off centralised exchanges is always something to keep in mind and this is getting to be a more realistic goal with the rise of decentralised exchanges and liquidity networks such as Bancor, and the improvements we are seeing in the hardware wallet space.
Let us know in the comments about your experiences with hardware wallets.
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